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Pacific Expeditions (NPE) expedition-style trip of a lifetime.

HOMER TO SEWARD This particular seven-day, expeditionstyle trip explores the waters of the Kenai Peninsula between Homer and Seward, Alaska, aboard the 85-foot aluminum hulled Sea Star, the charter vessel of NPE. I was invited along, and there were several reasons I was eager to hop aboard. Prominently, the cast of characters was bound to be interesting. Proudly touting themselves as the “new kids,” NPE was founded in 2016 with summer 2019 being their second cruising season with paying clients. Company founder and owner, Boeing software and electrical engineer, and professional mariner Captain Erick Teevin and his first mate, business partner, Navy veteran, and sommelier Captain Tracy Meyer had impressed me with their unwavering commitment to the expeditionstyle charter company and their vessel Sea Star. I first met Captain Meyer for coffee at The Dane in Upper Ballard in early spring to talk about getting up there. “We’re really busting our butts to get ready for the season, but we’re on schedule,” she told me. Both professional and down to earth, there was one more trip to the yards before she and Captain Teevin would deliver Sea Star to Southcentral Alaska. They’d then receive clients for different legs up and down the Prince William Sound and Kenai Peninsula for the summer. Fortunately for me, a spare berth had my name on it for a leg. “Surprisingly, there just aren’t that many people up there doing what we’re trying to do,” said Captain Meyer. “If you want to actually experience Prince William

Sound or the Kenai Peninsula and get a real boating experience, your options are super limited.” To learn more about this determined crew giving their all for a fledgling charter company operating in one of the most remote parts of Alaska was part of the draw. Additionally, I was keen to experience a proper expedition-style charter aboard the singular Sea Star. I’ve plied Alaskan waters as an exhausted Race to Alaska (R2AK) sailor, aboard a flotilla-style charter with Northwest Explorations, and as a commercial deckhand trying to fill the hold with salmon in Prince William Sound. But never had I experienced a private berth with en suite head (complete with shower) and a professional chef taking care of the meals, while also seeking that more intimate, fewer-than-a-dozen-clients feel. A challenge for this hybrid chartering world I was entering would be to balance the luxurious and rugged, relaxation and adventure. Could the balance be struck, especially with the lack of an official standard to lean on? Of course, my thoughts turned to my own selfish boating aspirations. What would it take to explore this remarkable part of the world on my own hull someday, be it sail or power? When talking about The Kenai, we’re talking about hard work in terms of effort and preparation but also big rewards with world-class experiences. How would I grow as a mariner with this trip? I vowed to keep my notepad close. Finally, and most pressing, I felt a deep yearning to know what The Kenai experience was all about. For all my love for and travels of the 49th state, I had yet to visit this famous part of it. Captain Meyer was correct in that there really is no easy way to get out there. While it’s simple enough

Below: Weather was clear, sunny, and more than 80 degrees Farenheit (about 26 degres Celsius) for most of the trip. Morning fog and low lying clouds like this disappated quickly under Alaska's famous midnight sun.

unrealized daydream of many for years. Flash forward to 2019, and I stand on the bow of Sea Star, formerly Aquarius, as she deftly makes her way through an ice field toward Northwestern Glacier of Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. The seals are pupping and watch us from their floating ice haulouts. The hulking blue and white mass of the glacier looms above as a chill wind picks up. A three-story-sized chunk crashes into the sea with a thunderous boom, an echo of the gunshot in Texas that set off a series of events that led me here aboard a North

AUGUST 2019 || NORTHWEST YACHTING

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Profile for Northwest Yachting

Northwest Yachting August 2019  

The best of boating lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest - featuring a trip to the Kenai Peninsula aboard a classic 80' Burger yacht, the inte...

Northwest Yachting August 2019  

The best of boating lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest - featuring a trip to the Kenai Peninsula aboard a classic 80' Burger yacht, the inte...